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Il Castello Di Atlante - Capitolo 7  - Tra Le Antiche Mura CD (album) cover

CAPITOLO 7 - TRA LE ANTICHE MURA

Il Castello Di Atlante

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.01 | 86 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Todd
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
5 stars "Suddenly, through the early morning biting fog, I saw a castle. The large portal was open. I left my heavy burden and I came in gingerly. Once inside the wide court, I felt a sensation of peace and stillness . . . "

So begins the Prefazione to Il Castello di Atlante's new album, "Tra le Antiche Mura"-Among the Ancient Walls. There are five beautifully crafted long songs (the shortest 8:20) which are flanked by a Prefazione and an Epilogo, which are nice atmospheric pieces with some spoken narration (in native Italian-the excerpt above is the band's translation).

Il Castello di Atlante has been around since the mid 1970's, but their recorded output consisted of private affairs until 1992. (Although 1994's "Passo Dopo Passo" consists of some of their earlier efforts, including some live material from the 1970's.) If you're not familiar with the band's style, they are firmly entrenched in 1970's RPI, with some modern coloring. But they would sound perfectly at home in the 1970's. They are a keyboard driven band, with strands of beautiful violin from Massimo di Lauro. Their guitarist, Aldo Bergamini, partakes of the David Gilmour/Nick Barrett school of singing atmospheric soli, as opposed to shredding. The band members are all excellent instrumentalists, if not virtuosi. Like typical RPI bands, they show a great sensibility for melody and song creation. They do not favor complex arrangements or time signatures, although there is enough variability in their compositions to never bore. But most of all, they play with great passion, also typical of RPI.

For this, technically their fifth studio album, original bass player Dino Fiore has returned, joining the other four members who have been around for many years, three of them since the very beginning. The title track is immediately striking, with excellent organ and keyboard choir playing against a great rhythm from the bass, drums, and guitar. As with all of the main songs, there are some faster sections juxtaposed with more atmospheric, slower passages, which usually flow together nicely.

My favorite song seems to switch depending on which I'm listening to-usually a good sign that the album is a winner. However, two deserve some special mention. "Malebolge" is a 19 minute song that takes its text from Dante's Inferno. (In fact, a truncated version of the song is found on the most recent Collosus Project compilation, "Dante's Inferno." If you don't have it yet, you really need to get it. Four CDs packed with great music!) The song is haunting, as befits a circle in hell, replete with otherworldly choir sounds and organ. They have created a wonderfully gripping atmosphere and captured the sense perfectly. "L'Uomo Solo" (Lonely Man) is another fascinating study in atmosphere. The piece begins with somewhat hard music, suggesting nicely the anger of a lonely man. At the 2:14 mark, there is a beautiful passage with piano and violin, joined by a rich vocal and then a singing guitar. Tasteful drums and subtle bass enter in a gradual crescendo, as the guitar begins to grow more emphatic. The whole ensemble then flows into a keyboard drenched passage, weaving a perfect musical tapestry depicting a lonely man. Excellent craftsmanship!

All in all, although not quite up to the level of the masterpieces of the 1970s, this is nonetheless an essential piece of current RPI. For this reason, and because (like their peers CAP) they need more exposure on this site and elsewhere, I'm awarding five stars. Bravo!

Todd | 5/5 |

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